Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dinner at the Theater

Friday night we headed west into the Orlando area for a night out on the town, and a little bit of necessary shopping.  I haven't shared this yet, I've been waiting until I was certain all systems were 'a go', but I have decided to keep my original ticket and I am headed to Europe in just 3 1/2 short weeks!

Yep that's right, 3 weeks of France and Italy are in my very near future indeed. My first two days will be spent in Paris with my friends before they head east towards Croatia, and then it's just me and the open road, free to do what I please. This will be the longest amount of time I've had off from work since my first job at age 15, so I am pretty excited. Mildly frightened at the prospect of all the solo travel, but mainly just excited! But I digress....

So since I will need a 'serious' backpack for all this trekking, we headed over to find one. And find one we did, one with a good fit and an awesome 'sale' price! After this little task was completed (which took nearly two hrs...) we went to the Enzian, a 'non-profit alternative cinema' that mainly plays independent movies and serves dinner and drinks right to your table. It's pretty fantastic!
The location itself is a little bit dreamy....
 We saw Submarine, a quirky British movie, a sort of coming of age story.


It was a fun, fun evening. I'll be back soon with Sunday Snapshots. Hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!

~AB

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lazy Afternoon on the River

Yesterday was spent with good friends enjoying the doggie beach, which is actually along the river. My lovely pooch didn't make it to the party, she's a bit skiddish, so I thought four new dog friends at once might be a bit too much, but next time for sure. I've been amazed at how quickly the weeks have been flying by, but I suppose times when you're having fun!

~AB

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Snapshots: 35mm B&W Film

This has been a bit of an 'off' week for me, especially for blogging, but I wanted to keep up with Sunday Snapshots, so I thought I would share a little more from my photography school portfolio.  Definitely one of the appeals of the weekly feature type of post is that, just like that, it can snap you back on task.

Every time I look at his shot, I wonder who these two little ladies are, what they are talking about, if they are friends or relatives. It is such a stolen moment, a little pocket of reality permanently captured, which is the most amazing thing about photography.
Often times, I get depressed on Sunday evening, not just because tomorrow will start with an early wake up call and be filled with work until well into the evening, but more so because another week has passed me by.  So this Sunday evening I am trying to change my view point, and see it as a fresh new start before me, a clean slate. I hope you all do, too. :)

~AB

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Snapshots

This week's shots weren't as impressive as I'd hoped, but this is what I came away with over the weekend.  Our weekend started off with brunch consisting of nutella crepes and spiced chai. It was ridiculously good, albeit much to rich to finish.

Any restaurant with a slogan like, 'When it rains, we pour!' is alright in my book!
We walked off brunch with a little stroll downtown to our local record store. Bon Iver's latest record may have came home with us.

And since we were downtown, we figured it only right to hit up a few thrift stores. This green teapot was calling to me, as I am dying to start a vintage teapot collection, but I am resolved to wait until we find the right china cabinet to start collecting. I need to have somewhere to put them!

Sunday evening ended with a stroll with the dog over to the beach.

Hope everyone had a delightful weekend! I can't believe tomorrow is Monday already.
Here we go again, right?!


~AB

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Not A Bad Problem to Have.

But yet, still a problem.
Source: None via Ashley on Pinterest

There has been a small change of plans. I am not going to be joining my friends in Europe as I mentioned a few weeks back. The reasons for this are many and varied, but the short version goes something like this... They are camping. For three weeks.

Actually, not just camping, but more specifically wild land camping, which is where you bravely wander off into the woods and pitch your tent at a random place. The fact that these ladies are doing this is one of the many things that make me so proud to have them as friends. But in short, I'm not much of a camper. I wish I was, and even I tried to cover this fact up, mainly to myself, so much so that I talked myself into going with some psycho babble about how 'we all must push ourselves to grow'! But as the weeks have spun along, I found myself getting all worked up and anxious, almost dreading my trip. No bueno.

Now, I have been dreaming about visiting Europe for over a decade now, and sick-at-my-stomach anxiety has never been a part of that fantasy. I want to feel over the moon excited, like a kid on Christmas morning about this trip, but I realize now, forcing yourself to do something that isn't right for you is a recipe for the former, not the latter. (Side note: I've always wanted to use that phrase and I think I may have even used it correctly!;)

Another issue I was having is all three of my compadres have all already traversed Europe, and therefore are understandably looking to skip a lot of the hot spots that I am dying to see! At first I told myself that this didn't matter, but as I researched guide books and started to think about things that I wanted to do versus what the goal of their trip was, they looked very different.

And the third caveat was that all my cronnies are smoking hot single ladies, and as I am of the married lady variety, I harbored some fears that this may lead to a bit of an odd man out feel that can ruin a trip for even the best of friends. So, after much thought, (others may have called it brooding) I decided that wasn't the best trip for me. I am definitely sad to miss the opportunity to travel with my homegirls, especially since for two of them, it will be the first leg of their RTW adventure! But alas, I have to do what's right for me, and once I made the decision and told my friends, I felt relief, which is always a sign you've made the right call.

But this leads me to my 'problem', although I call it that hesitantly. (I hesitate because if this is my biggest problem, life ain't too bad!)

You see, I have already bought my ticket.  A $1000, non-refundable AirFrance ticket....

I have contacted AirFrance, and I can, for a small fortune, change my ticket once, and I have to know my destination and departure dates upon making this change. This makes things interesting.

Do I go to Europe at the same time as friends, but travel solo to stay in hostels? This definitely has appeal, as more solo travel is something I feel might be good for me.  My friends will be there, but as they will be somewhat 'off the grid' contacting them to arrange meetups we feared would be next to impossible. So do I go it completely alone? Paris, perhaps the world's most romantic city, without JB sounds a bit depressing, but he is already committed to a 'boys' trip to Nicaragua. (When I asked if he would really rather go surfing with a bunch of stinky boys than go to Paris with me and he just gave me a look, I have to say it stung just a little bit. But I suppose one could argue that I've got it coming after years of lamenting not having the opportunity to travel on my own. His look was to say, girlie, here's your chance...) And everyone and their brother has been like, 'Europe, alone? Don't you want to share it with someone?' Well, NOW I DO!! Geez.


So whats a girl to do? As per usual, it was my mom that came up with what may be the best solution. She said, the way only your mother can, 'I know what you need to do. Trade in your ticket and go to South Africa.' And by-golly, she may just be right.

Now, that might sound a bit random for a mother to tell her daughter, no don't go to Europe, the backpacker mecca of the world, go to Africa instead, so allow me to fill in a few gaps with a little history lesson... After WWII, my British grandmother married an American and obviously settled here in the West. But her brother, Harry, married an exotic Grecian woman named Poppy, and they settled in South Africa. So half of our family, all of whom I've heard about my entire life but most of whom I have never gotten to meet, live there. So while I would be sort of be solo, I could stay with family and have an immediate support system in this new, exotic and exciting land.

It may just be perfect. Thanks Mom.


~AB

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dining Alfresco in the Nation's Oldest City


The Gourmet Hut
Over the holiday weekend my parents and I drove about an hour north to St. Augustine, our country's oldest city. It felt like a very appropriate little road trip on the eve of our nation's Independence day, although I need very little coaxing to head up there, as ol' St. Auggie is one of my favorite places in the entire world. We happened to stumble on this little place to eat lunch called The Gourmet Hut. The ambiance of this place couldn't be any cuter, with ivy lined walls, strictly outdoor seating, and food that was out of this world delicious. A repeat visit will definitely be in order!
The Gourmet Hut
Lunch in St. AugustineLovely Outdoor SeatingLunch at The Gourmet Hut

Lunch with the FolksClay Pots and Chaulkboard Specials

Fresh Brewed
The Gourmet Hut
Here are some snapshots taken after lunch as we strolled through the city. If you look really closely over my left shoulder you can see a feather I had put in my hair in one of the local shops.

St. Augustine
Strolling through St. Augustine

Old City Charm
Feeding the meter for a strangerPeeking inside

After strolling and shopping a bit in the heat of July we cooled things off with the obligatory cup of gelato and then headed home. It was a wonderful little getaway.

~AB

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sunday Snapshots: Instax

This weeks medium was Instax! I've been holding out on several boxes of Instax film, but part of this little weekly project is to make an effort to use some of the awesome things I have at my disposal, so NO MORE hoarding!!

Photobucket

Photobucket


I am going to be modifying 'Sunday Snapshots' just a little bit though because it occurred to me that if I want to use any type of film besides instant I would have a delay issue due to developing time. So I've decided that Sunday Snapshots will now be a collective of shots from throughout my week to be posted on Sunday instead of just shots taken on Sunday.  Plus that takes some of the pressure off of Sundays! (I'll admit, I cheated a bit with the holiday weekend. Two of these shots were taken on Monday! ;) I'm already getting excited for next weeks post!

Over the weekend I started researching lomography 'toy' cameras. I kind of can't believe I am so late to jump on this trend, but after spending yesterday afternoon doing a little online browsing I'm hooked! While I was in photography school I went to a 'fine art' show with my parents and I remember the one exhibitor that really caught my eye was this gentleman, who was shooting with just toy cameras, creating these big beautiful prints and then framing them.  The results were absolutely captivating and super dream-like. I remember being so jazzed on this type of photography, but in class that type of thing was often deemed 'cliche' so I put it out of my mind.  Not any more though! I am truly turned on to this medium and can't wait to get my hands on a toy camera.

So now the decision of Holga vs. Diana? Maybe both?! ;) I know a lot of my blogger friends have Diana's, and I kind of leaning that way. Any suggestions or previous experience? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

~AB

Monday, July 4, 2011

Red, White and Blue

Red, White and Blue Breakfast!

A little red, white and blue breakfast in honor of our nation's independence! I hope everyone has a fantastic Fourth of July and I'll be back soon with Sunday Snapshots!

~AB